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Daniel Paille glad to be back in Bruins lineup 11.08.10 at 4:13 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — When David Krejci needed the assistance of teammates to get off the ice after crashing into the boards head-first on Saturday, minds throughout New England began retooling the Bruins’ lineup while running into plenty of questions. Would Patrice Bergeron move up to the first line? [Yes.] Would Tyler Seguin see his role changed? [No.] Would this mean the end of Daniel Paille‘s 10-game healthy scratch streak?

It seems that the answer to that question is also yes. The Bruins considered dipping into the Providence supply when figuring out who would get ice time in the week or so that Krejci is out, but in the end, it appears Paille will get his second chance when the B’s take on the Penguins on Wednesday.

“We talked about [recalling a player from Providence],” Peter Chiarelli said on Monday. “There’s a couple of players down there that are playing well, but right now, Danny’s been champing at the bit, he’s been practicing very well, and he actually had a strong camp.”

Paille was among a number of Bruins who played especially poorly in the team’s season-opener, causing a turnover that led to a Coyotes goal and posting a minus-one in the 5-2 loss to the Coyotes in Prague. The next night, Paille was replaced on the third line by Mark Recchi and Jordan Caron made his NHL debut. With Paille a healthy scratch, the team won a 3-0 contest, and they stuck with the same forwards in the following 10 games, going 7-2-1 in that stretch.

“We’ve got a number of guys here that can play, and in the first 10 games, we hit a huge roll,” Paille said. “That’s something that’s understandable, and I’ve just had to wait for a time to come into the lineup and try to get back into the position.”

Paille was skating on the third line with Seguin and Michael Ryder on Monday. He has practiced with the third-liners throughout the season, so he does have a sense of familiarity with his two linemates, something he feels will be a positive as he looks to avoid encountering rust in his first game back on the ice.

In his quest to not look like a guy who’s hasn’t played in a game in over a month, Paille also hopes that the positive mindset he’s kept will bring good things. The 26-year-old has focused on staying sharp in practices despite the uncertainty of playing time.

“I find that I’ve been battling pretty hard in practices and in the game-day skates, I tend to give that extra effort, so I’m hoping that it pans out for the first game Wednesday, and hopefully it really pays off.”

Read More: Daniel Paille, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron,
Meet the Bruins’ new second-line center: Blake Wheeler 11.08.10 at 1:44 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Blake Wheeler left the Ristuccia ice on Monday and walked to his locker, intent on delivering a message.

“Hey guys, I’m playing center!”

The news wasn’t exactly news given that he had served as the second-line center during practice, but even Wheeler could understand that it was a notable topic as the Bruins prepare for the next week or so without the services of David Krejci.

Krejci was diagnosed with a moderate concussion after crashing head-first into the boards following a collision with Blues forward T.J. Oshie early on in overtime during the Bruins’ 2-1 shootout loss on Saturday. He is expected to miss at least a week. When the team returned to practice on Monday, second-line center Patrice Bergeron had jumped onto the first line, with Wheeler sliding in between Jordan Caron and Mark Recchi on the second line.

The Bruins had briefly experimented with the idea of playing Wheeler at center during training camp when it became clear that they’d be without Marc Savard, but ultimately it was Tyler Seguin who stuck as a pivot, playing on the third line. Wheeler, who played center his final two years at the University of Minnesota, is excited for both the opportunity to return to his old position and challenge of regaining the familiarity.

“Today was a bit of the shock to the system, with all the skating and stuff,” Wheeler said. “It’s always nice. I find that it really gets you into the game, gets you involved a lot faster than wing does sometimes because you’re up and down the ice and you’ve got to be really focused defensively. I’ve always liked playing center, so it should be a good challenge.”

Before the team left for its European excursion in late September, it became rather clear that Wheeler would remain a winger, either on the second line or third line. He played a large portion of the preseason with Seguin as his center, but feels that the little time he was exposed to center in camp should be beneficial to what he does going forward.

“It was kind of a crash-course refresher with all the little nuances of playing center,” Wheeler said. “That was huge. It gave me the confidence to know that I could still do that at this level and be effective. For me, that was the biggest thing, just knowing you can do it, and I guess we’ll see how it goes.”

Though familiarity with the center position is something that will come with time, one advantage Wheeler has with this line is that he knows his wingers well. He’s played on lines with both Recchi and Caron this season, and hopes to continue to build chemistry with the two as he adjusts over the next week or two.

“That definitely helps, to have familiarity with guys. Rex always makes it easier on you no matter where you are. That’s always nice, and Jordan’s really strong on the puck, too, so it won’t be any problem for us,” Wheeler said. “We’re going to have to help each other out and pick each other up. It should be no different.”

Wheeler has taken only three faceoffs this season, but has won two of them. He pointed to faceoffs as the biggest burden as he accepts his cameo as a center, and admitted that he hasn’t been practicing them since training camp. As long as he doesn’t lose them clean, Wheeler feels he and his line will be alright.

“That will be the biggest challenge, is the faceoffs. That’s always the toughest part, when you haven’t taken them in a while. I’ll just try to do my best and battle,” Wheeler said. “I know those two guys will be in there helping me out, and trying to get some good wins for me. I guess the job for me is not to lose them clean. As long as you’re in a battle and creating sort of a scrum, that’s half the battle.”

Through 11 games, Wheeler has one goal and two assists.

Read More: Blake Wheeler, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron,
David Krejci injury update: Peter Chiarelli calls concussion ‘moderate’ 11.08.10 at 11:39 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli offered an update on top-line center David Krejci on Monday, saying the concussion Krejci suffered in overtime on Saturday is “moderate” on a mild – moderate – severe scale.

Chiarelli noted that the only symptoms shown by Krejci following the hit were a headache and some amnesia, and that there was no loss of consciousness. The Bruins have been encouraged by how Krejci has felt in the last two days and that he will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Chiarelli didn’t feel the play in which Krejci was injured, a collision with Blues forward T.J. Oshie that led to him hitting his head against the boards, was malicious in nature.

“I had no issue with the hit,” Chiarelli said, deeming the play an “incidental hit.”

Bruins lines see tweaking in first practice following David Krejci concussion 11.08.10 at 10:36 am ET
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WILMINGTON — After taking the day off Sunday, the Bruins returned to work at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington on Monday for their first practice following Saturday’s injury to David Krejci. The top-line center suffered a concussion when he hit the boards following a hit from T.J. Oshie in overtime.

With Krejci out, the color-coded lines saw a bit of shuffling. Patrice Bergeron is now wearing a white sweater, signifying he’ll be on the top line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Blake Wheeler appears set to center the second line, while it looks like Daniel Paille might get some third-line ice time out of this deal. Here are how the lines look based on the practice jerseys.

Lucic – Bergeron – Horton

Caron – Wheeler – Recchi

Paille – Seguin – Ryder

Marchand – Campbell – Thornton

Brian McGrattan has been placed on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to Providence. The Bruins have indicated that they will not be recalling anybody for the time being.

Read More: Daniel Paille, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron,
David Krejci out at least a week with concussion following T.J. Oshie hit 11.07.10 at 4:19 pm ET
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The Bruins announced on Sunday that David Krejci is out for at least a week with a mild concussion after his head collided with the far center boards on a check by St. Louis center T.J. Oshie with 4:15 left in overtime on Saturday night at TD Garden. He was on the ice for a minute before getting to his knees and then his feet. He was helped off the ice by Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference and then headed directly to the dressing room and did not return.

“Obviously, he got his bell rung there,” Claude Julien said following the game.

Krejci, who was knocked out of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers last spring with a dislocated wrist, leads the team in assists (8) through 11 games and is tied for second with Milan Lucic in points (10), one behind Nathan Horton.

Oshie defended the hit, which was not penalized. “Just two guys going at the puck, Oshie said. “I tried to get low and get a good center of gravity. He was coming at me. From what it looked like, he was coming to hit me as well. It was a hard battle tonight, a physical game. I certainly hope that he’s ok and he’ll be back.”

Read More: David Krejci, T.J. Oshie,
T.J. Oshie defends hit on David Krejci 11.06.10 at 11:43 pm ET
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The Bruins are awaiting further word on the health of top-line center David Krejci after his head collided with the far center boards on a check by St. Louis center T.J. Oshie with 4:15 left in overtime on Saturday night at TD Garden. He was on the ice for a minute before getting to his knees and then his feet. He was helped off the ice by Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference and then headed directly to the dressing room and did not return.

“Not yet,” Julien said when asked if he had any word on Krejci’s condition. “Obviously, he got his bell rung there We don’t know what the severity is yet. I didn’t see the replay. He’s here and he’s being evaluated.”

Krejci, who was knocked out of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers last spring with a dislocated wrist, leads the team in assists (8) through 11 games and is tied for second with Milan Lucic in points (10), one behind Nathan Horton.

Oshie defended the hit, which was not penalized.

“Just two guys going at the puck, Oshie said. “I tried to get low and get a good center of gravity. He was coming at me. From what it looked like, he was coming to hit me as well. It was a had battle tonight, a physical game. I certainly hope that he’s ok and he’ll be back.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, David Krejci, NHL
Bruins lose to Blues in shootout 11.06.10 at 9:57 pm ET
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Michael Ryder and Patrice Bergeron couldn’t score in the Bruins’ first shootout of the season, and the Blues walked away 2-1 winners on Saturday night.

It seemed as though Jaroslav Halak was set to surpass Tim Thomas for the league lead in shutouts throughout the night, but for the second straight night, a Bruins’ fourth liner threw a monkey wrench at the system.bGregory Campell took a pass from Michael Ryder at 13:00 of the third period to beat Halak and tie the game and give the Bruins new life. It was Campbell’s first goal as a member of the Bruins.

While no goals were scored in overtime, the Bruins suffered a potential big loss as David Krejci left early on with an injury (see below).

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins got hosed a bit with the instigator call. Andrew Ference danced with David Backes in defense of Mark Recchi and got called, but when B.J. Crombeen went after Stuart following a hard hit on Jay McClement, nothing outside of the traditional fighting major was charged to Crombeen.

Nathan Horton played one of his best games in a Bruins uniform but was horribly snakebitten. Twice he had to watch from the bench as near-goals were reviewed, neither of which yielded the Bruins any good news on the scoreboard.

For Horton to beat Halak twice with nothing to show for it is certainly frustrated, but he seemed to play harder as the game went on and the bad news piled up. He seemed to get progressively physical but not to the point where he was taking himself out of the play or costing the Bruins (his roughing call at 8:39 of the third was matched by Erik Johnson). Quite a departure from his reputation as a guy who faded over the course of games in Florida.

– T.J. Oshie laid a perfectly legal but still scary hit on David Krejci along the boards in overtime, and the first-line center was down on the ice for a couple of minutes with trainer Don DelNegro before leaving the game. More on Krejci’s condition to come.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Campbell couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first goal as a member of the B’s, but it isn’t exactly surprising behavior from the fourth line. After all, Thornton did tie the game against the Capitals a night earlier.

– The penalty kill continues to be an impenetrable fortress. The B’s had to deal with four minor penalties throughout the game and sillenced the Blues’ power play throughout the night.

St. Louis entered the game 20th in the league in power play percentage, so while their unit may not be anything to write about, the consistency that continues to be displayed by the top penalty killing unit in the league has been a great sign on the young season.

– Horton had season-high and game-high eight shots on goal on Saturday. He said before the game that he knew he wasn’t shooting enough and intended to fire off more shots.

Horton entered the game sixth on the Bruins in shots on goal with just 19 through 10 games. Of his 148 career goals, 26 of them have been scored on his only shot of the game.

-Tyler Seguin scored the B’s lone shootout goal in beautiful fashion, deking Halak and beating him top shelf on the backhand. A scorer like Seguin was designed for shootouts, and it showed Saturday.
– Rask gave up some big rebounds early on, but he really found his rhythm. He had the save of of the game to keep it tied when he stopped David Backes late in the third low, laying out and getting a pad on Backes’ bid along the post.

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